149 Broad Street Tonawanda, NY 14150

(716) 692-1319 • church@firstprestona.org

© 2014 The First Presbyterian Church of Tonawanda. All Rights Reserved.

Weddings

Congratulations on Your Engagement!

 

Wedding Guidelines at First Presbyterian Church

 

Presbyterian Christians have two important notions concerning marriage.  First, marriage is grounded in a theology of creation, so that marriage is a gift from God to all human society. Second, marriage is a part of living of one’s faith. It is a covenant made between two persons, in the presence of God, and relying upon God’s grace to strengthen them for their life together. Thus, a wedding ceremony is a service of worship where two persons come together with loved ones to give thanks, to celebrate, and to ask God's blessing upon them.

 

When a couple wishes to be married at First Presbyterian Church or at another location, they should contact the church office to coordinate their wedding date with the availability of the pastor, organist and/or building. 

 

Pre-marital counseling with the pastor is provided as an opportunity to help prepare and equip the couple for a lifelong commitment.  Before meeting with the pastor, the couple will respond to an online “awareness inventory” that explores topics including the couple’s expectations about their life together, communication skills, personality and relating styles, the influences of family and friends, problem solving, conflict resolution, and more. In addition, the couple will reflect upon the significance that spirituality and religion may have in their life together. Generally, there will be three 60-90 minute meetings, plus a time to plan the ceremony.

 

The final meeting will be planning the wedding ceremony!   Presbyterians seek to strike a balance between freedom and form, reformation and tradition.  In a wedding, tradition calls for promises (vows), prayers, and consideration of the meaning of marriage.  However, there is great room for flexibility and adaptation.  Special attention is given to include elements which will make the service special to the couple. The words, actions and music will seek to convey celebration, and the presence of God, before whom the couple is pledging their love and faithfulness.  Holy Communion, as part of the ceremony, is permitted as long as everyone present is invited to participate.

 

There is no glitter allowed in the sanctuary.

         

All photography associated with the wedding service, will be planned in consultation with the Pastor. 

Music is a meaningful part of the wedding, and is planned in consultation with the Pastor and Organist.  Normally, the organist of First Presbyterian Church must be given first consideration to play the accompaniment for weddings at the church.  All other arrangements are planned by the pastor and the couple, except when the Organist is playing with additional ensembles.  

 

The organist receives a fee for providing the music at a wedding (see attached fee schedule).  Any additional music, including working with a soloist, may result in an adjusted fee.

 

In order to facilitate planning for other church services, the couple should inform the church office of their plans regarding flowers and decorations. There is no glitter allowed in the decorations.

 

The church building, (seating capacity 225) regarding the sanctuary and fellowship hall, will be cleaned and ready prior to the wedding service. The fellowship hall is available for receptions, provided by the users or using a caterer. For members: the fellowship hall is available without charge; for non-members the fellowship hall is available for a fee of $200; a refundable deposit of $300 is required.

 

Arrangements must be made with the church office for all custodial services after the wedding and/or reception.  Members and non-members alike are expected to reimburse the church for this service.

 

*There can be no alcoholic beverages or smoking in the church building.                                  

*Only birdseed (no rice or confetti) can be used to greet the married couple

 

Fees for Members

  • There are no building use fees for members of First Presbyterian Church.

  • The honorarium for the pastor’s services is $250, payable to Rev. Leslie Latham.

  • The fee for custodial services is $75.  Checks are made payable to Kevin Donovan.  There are additional custodial charges if a reception is held in the church.

  • The fee for the organist, Kurt Ebsary, is $100 for the wedding alone and $125 including rehearsal.  For additional music there may be additional fees. Only legal copies may be used.

  • The fee for the sound technician is $25. The name will be provided.

 

All fees are due at the rehearsal. 

 

Fees for Non-members

 

  • Building use Sanctuary only:              $100

  • Use of Fellowship Hall for reception: $200, plus a refundable (subject to damage) deposit of $300

 

  • The fee for custodial services is $100, to Kevin Donovan. There are additional charges if a reception is held in the church.

 

  • The fee for the organist, Kurt Ebsary, is $125 for the wedding alone and $150, including rehearsal.  For additional music there may be additional fees.

 

  • The fee for the sound technician is $50. The name will be provided.

 

  • The fee for the pastor’s services, Rev. Leslie Latham, including counseling, is $250.

 

All fees are due at the rehearsal.